Good on Google for being proactive and pulling a shady iMessages app from the Google Play Store. The iMessage Chat app spoofed Apple’s servers and let Android users use their Apple ID to exchange iMessages with iOS and OS X owners. Before it was pulled, the app allegedly was downloaded between 10,000 and 50,000 times.
The app raised all sorts of red flags as it tricked Apple’s servers into believing it was an authentic Apple product. The app accomplished this feat by routing the iMessages through a server in China that then sends the data onto Apple. iOS jailbreaker pod2g warned people to “not use this Android iMessage app, never ever!,” noting that it could grab your Apple ID and password. Developer Steve Troughton-Smith claimed the app had code that allowed it to download other APKs in the background, possibly turning it into a vector to download and install malware on an Android device.
If you are curious about the app, a video from macmixing shows how the app is able to send and receive iMessages. macmixing tested the app using a throw away Apple ID account on his LG G2. He was able to install the app, set it up with his Apple ID and send an iMessage to his iPhone. For better or worse, the app works surprisingly well.
After the app made headlines today, Google removed iMessage Chat from the Play Store and told Computerworld that the app was removed because it violated store policies. If you happened to be among the 50,000 Android customers who downloaded the app while it was live and tested it just out of curiosity, you should change your Apple ID password right away.
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